Throwing as much as they can muster into the fight is a classic Russian strategy:
- 22,170 MBTs, 3 times more than the US.
- 70 Corvettes, 35 times more than the US.
- 17 Submarines, 9 times more than the US.
- 449,000 personnel, 41 times more than the US.
The US intervention in the war in Afghanistan, soon to enter its 18th year, is the longest-running conflict in American history. US-led forces managed to root the Taliban out from the country’s major cities, but have since been locked in guerrilla fighting as the Taliban still controls and contests much of the rest of the country.
Contrast Russia’s experience. In 2008, it launched a surprise invasion of Georgia, a small country on its southern border. Georgia’s two secessionist regions, South Ossetia and Abkhazia, worked quickly with Russia’s military to declare and secure independence. The war officially lasted less than a week, as Russian forces quickly overwhelmed Georgia’s army.
Ask yourself: Do we know how much our adversaries spend on their military, and what they are getting for their money? Russia, for example, presents a glaring problem for academic and policy circles alike. Most comparisons are done in current U.S. dollars based on prevailing exchange rates, making Russia’s economy seem the size of South Korea’s. This approach is useless for comparing defence spending, or the country’s purchasing power. Yet, it is used frequently to argue that despite a large military modernization program, and a sizable conventional and nuclear deterrent, Moscow is a paper tiger. As a consequence, the debate on relative military power and expectations of the future military balance is warped by a low-information environment.
The American Army was led by a Ukraine asset, although he is not technically Russian, Ukraine employs Russian technology, tactics and training, which proves that the Russian military is made up of more than a bunch of California gangsters. If you consider the American Army strong at all, it is because of the strength of this Ukraine commander.